January 31, 2013—Once hospitalized for a heart attack, Aboriginal peoples in Canada are likely to have similar health outcomes as others in this country, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Even so, getting such care continues to be a challenge.
Residents of areas with a high concentration of First Nations are more likely to have a heart attack and conditions that complicate their heart disease, such as diabetes, than residents of areas with small Aboriginal populations. Despite this apparent higher need, however, they are less likely to undergo specific cardiac procedures.
Residents of areas with a high concentration of Inuit, meanwhile, are less likely to have a heart attack and diabetes than those living in remote areas with small Aboriginal populations. However, they are just as likely to undergo specific cardiac procedures when hospitalized for a heart attack and—while all of these residents live more than 500 km away from a facility with the necessary cardiac care resources their outcomes are similar following treatment.
CIHI looked at seven years of data for this study. It used an area-based approach to examine these patient groups, as information about patients’ ethnicity is not recorded consistently in Canadian hospital records. Residents of areas with a high concentration of First Nations were compared with residents of areas with small Aboriginal populations, while people living in areas with a high concentration of Inuit were compared with those in remote areas with small Aboriginal populations.
Aviva Hofmann Shaw
Established in 1994, CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides essential information on Canada’s health system and the health of Canadians. Funded by federal, provincial and territorial governments, CIHI is guided by a Board of Directors made up of health leaders across the country. Our vision is to improve Canada’s health system and the well-being of Canadians by being a leading source of unbiased, credible and comparable information that will enable health leaders to make better-informed decisions.